Mostar is an absolutely stunning town that is definitely worth visiting. It has a glorious medieval feel, a captivating and enticing river of gorgeous colours and of course, its famous bridge, a massive stone construction whose destruction came to symbolise the war in Bosnia. Meticulously reconstructed, it is now one of the most popular tourist sights in the Balkans.
I took the day train from Sarajevo which allowed me to see the beautiful Bosnian countryside. With its towering mountains and sparkling lakes it is something that all visitors love and remember. While you might be tempted to save on a hostel by travelling by night, it’s worth it to spend a bit more time and money to see the stunning countryside. Trust me, you won’t regret it.
Mostar is an incredibly beautiful town, surrounded by impressive mountains. It is lined with beautiful old cobbled streets that are bustling with market stalls. The mishmash of mosques and churches are symbols of the combination of different cultures that blend surprisingly well together. It is clear that the town has left the war behind. The town has a relaxing laid back atmosphere that invites you to put your feet up and enjoy the scenery.
The river that flows through the town is absolutely jaw dropping in its beauty. It has the most magnificent hues of green and blue that you could spend all day admiring. It is freezing cold, though this is refreshing on hot days.
The highlight of the town is undoubtedly the Old Bridge. Built by the Ottomans in the 1560s, it connected the Muslim and Croatian halves of the city. These two sides co-inhabited peacefully together until the war between 1991 and 1995 caused by the breakup of Yugoslavia. Both sides began sniping at each other from across the river until the bridge was eventually blown up. This came to symbolise the division of former neighbours, so much so that a special effort was made to rebuild it. This was laboriously done using the original methods and became the symbol of bridges being rebuilt between the different communities. The bridge is very impressive and was made a UNESCO World Heritage site. Also famous are the locals who will dive off the bridge. Given the bridge’s height of 21 metres this is very impressive. The locals are masters of suspense, waiting until a large enough crowd has accumulated before passing around a hat for donations. Once they raise enough money they make the jump.
Signs of the war are clear to be seen in Mostar. There are many bullet ridden buildings and a several ruins. One stall sold bullets turned into pens as well as the clip for a Kalashnikov. Two guys from my hostel went to the “Sniper House”, apparently a former sniper lookout which is covered in shell casings, several of which the guys took as souvenirs. On top of the hill overlooking the town you can see a large cross and several smaller ones presumably a cemetery.
Mostar is quite simply one of the beautiful towns I’ve ever seen, a captivating beauty that takes your breath away. This charming picturesque town is a place you never want to leave. It completely deserves its popularity and praise.